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Healthy Self Esteem Hidden Danger of social media Safety Tips for Teen Drivers 1 | Parent Source | Spring 2018
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Table of Contents 4 Hidden Danger of Social Media................... 6 Safety Tips For Teen Drivers ....................... 8 Developing Healthy Self-Esteem..................
Inspire Your Teen to Expand
10 Ingredients for a Perfect Family Vacation. 12 Tips for Allergy Sufferers.......................... 13 Their Horizons...................................
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Developing Healthy SelfEsteem in our Children Fran Tierney, MA, LCPC Psychotherapist There is no greater responsibility than being a parent. I think most of us would agree with this statement. One of the most important aspects of this important responsibility, is giving our children the necessary skills that they can use to develop and grow a healthy selfesteem. Self-esteem is defined as the “confidence in one’s worth and abilities; how people feel about themselves.” Selfesteem can be built and improved at any point in time, however, for children/teens is critical because of the impact that choices and decisions can have on later life.
Healthy self-esteem vs. Low self-esteem There are clear advantages that children/adolescents who have a healthy self-esteem have over those who struggle with their confidence. Here are a few: Children/adolescents with good self-esteem tend to act more independently, take responsibility for their actions, manage conflict appropriately, tolerate frustration, handle peer pressure appropriately, express emotions in a healthy way, and relish the opportunity to take on new experiences and challenges. Children/adolescents with low self-esteem tend to act in a more dependent way, they experience more worry, nervousness, sadness and fear, they are avoidant of trying new things, they are impacted more by feeling negatively judged by peers, they spend more time focusing on social comparisons and feel they do not measure up to their peers.
What can parents do to directly help their children build healthy self-esteem? Here are specific strategies that work to help teach and develop healthy self-esteem. 1. Offer support when needed. Don’t jump in to solve problems, but instead offer supportive words and encouragement. Demonstrate unconditional support for them.
2. Encourage curiosity and taking risks, which involves stepping outside of their comfort zone and trying new things. Approaching new experiences, challenges, and accomplishments builds confidence and self-esteem. 3. Give children choices- with reasonable options. This allows them to practice making decisions and learn that they can trust their ability to decide. 4. DON’T do everything for your kids! This one is important! Let your children have responsibilities that are age appropriate. Let them believe in their ability to accomplish tasks. 5. Teach problem solving by asking them, “how would you like to see this situation resolved?” Encourage them to find solutions that are appropriate and possible. 6. Give praise when praise is due. Compliment their efforts as well as successes. 7. Help your children set realistic goals. Goals provide direction in life. Goals give meaning to hard work, experiences, etc. Developing goals is a life-long skill, the earlier developed the better. 8. Model self-love and positive self-talk. How parents speak about themselves is crucial in how kids feel about themselves. As you improve your ability to accept and respect yourself, so will your kids! It’s a direct link to their self-esteem. 9. Teach and demonstrate resilience. Life is not easy, and our kids need to know and believe that they can handle hard situations. This will ease their overall stress response in the times when life throws them a curve ball. 10. Set rules and be consistent. Children crave rules and expectations. These rules guide and provide appropriate boundaries for behavior, performance, reinforces healthy choices, and a feeling of pride when followed. The power of consistency, allows kids to feel safe when they can predict the reaction.
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As a therapist, parents of children and adolescents will often ask me, “What can I say to help my child develop and build their self-esteem?” Based on research and in many years of working with people of all ages who wish to improve their belief in their worth and abilities, I suggest these five positive self-esteem building statements. 1. “You are capable.” This statement reinforces that children/teens are capable of managing situations as they arise. They are capable of so much and believing this is an instant self-esteem booster. 2. “You can do hard things.” This statement encourages children/teens that even in difficult situations they have the ability to make tough decisions or accomplish challenging things. Adults know that life is hard, so teaching our kids that they can survive and thrive during hard times is a skill that will stick with them though their life. Those who believe this tend to be less influenced by peer pressure and more successful academically. 3. “That was brave.” When your child/teen tries something new, challenges themselves in some way, makes efforts to expand their life experiences in any way, it requires bravery. This pattern deserves reinforcement. 4. “I believe in you.” The power of knowing that a child is believed in is life changing for him or her. This simple statement is truly empowering and it is strength building. 5. “No matter what happens, I love you.” Unconditional positive regard is something that everyone deserves. Giving children/teens the safety net of love and acceptance is critical. Reminding them that even if something doesn’t go as planned the love a parent feels for them is consistent. These statements will eventually become your child’s internal dialogue. The impact of positive statements or affirmations is powerful and actually help to rewire one’s brain. Over time, these can change and improve lives. These statements directly influence a healthy self-esteem. The responsibility of being a parent is great, however there is no greater gift than seeing your children eventually grow into the people they are meant to be. It’s not always easy, but, its always worth it.
Fran Tierney is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with over 19 years of professional experience. She provides therapy to adolescents, adults, couples and families, and treats a variety of mental health issues. Ms. Tierney is also a mother of three teenage boys. She enjoys supporting her sons in all of their life endeavors. Ms. Tierney works in private practice at the Associates in Counseling located in Sycamore, Illinois. You can visit her website: www.frantierneylcpc.net or call 815.899.0501 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
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The Hidden Dangers of Oversharing on Social Media
ocking doors and windows and leaving a light on used to deter criminals from breaking into homes when you were away on vacation, but our obsession with sharing photos and experiences in real time on social media has created a whole new security risk for travelers. According to Mercury Insurance, burglaries involving social media have become all too common these days. “Instead of looking for physical signs that a home is unoccupied, burglars can simply scan Instagram posts, monitor Twitter feeds and check Facebook for signs that someone isn’t home. Posted photos can also show them exactly what to look for when they break in,” says Mercury Insurance Vice President of Claims Kevin Quinn.
“Oversharing on social media is commonplace and builtin smartphone features like geotagging, which share the user’s exact location when they post, are only making things easier for thieves.” One example is a Mercury claimant who took his family on vacation to Cancun, Mexico. The family was very active on social media, publicizing their upcoming vacation and continuing to post updates throughout the trip. Thieves used this information to break into the claimant’s home and steal nearly $200,000 worth of personal property, along with a Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway. Many of the items stolen were pictured on the family’s social media accounts, so the thieves knew exactly what to target.
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â€œItâ€™s important to make sure no one in your family is posting your travel plans. Facebook posts checking into restaurants or Instagram photos of your familyâ€™s vacation blatantly advertise that youâ€™re away from home and put your property at risk,â€? adds Quinn. Quinn offers the following social media tips to consider before taking off on your vacation:
â€˘ Never share photos of your belongings. Be careful about displaying any expensive belongings on social media that might entice thieves. Steer clear of posting pictures of expensive jewelry, cash, designer clothing and accessories, and electronics. â€˘ Donâ€™t tag your location. Disable the geotagging feature on your smartphone and resist the urge to check in at locations while youâ€™re away. â€˘ Avoid uploading photos during your vacation. Wait until youâ€™re home to share your familyâ€™s trip. â€˘ Be selective about what and with whom you share. Limit your following or friend base on your personal accounts
and adjust your privacy settings so that others have a limited view of your profiles. You never know if a friend of a friend is looking at your photos or other posts.
â€˘ Never announce your vacation plans on your social media channels. If you plan to go out of town, consider having a neighbor check on your home, or hiring a trusted friend or family member to housesit. â€˘ Verify friend requests. Itâ€™s easy for people to pretend to be someone theyâ€™re not online, so donâ€™t get â€œcatfished.â€? Be wary of connecting with people you donâ€™t know. â€˘ Power down your PC. Disable the internet connection to cut off access to any personal information stored on your computer, because unattended machines are easy marks for hackers. â€œLive in the moment and enjoy your time with your family. The purpose of vacation is to relax, recharge and experience things in person, not just on a screen. Save the photo sharing and status updates for when you return home - it could make the difference between whether you need to file an insurance claim after your well-deserved time away or not,â€? adds Quinn. (BPT)
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Top Safety Tips For Teen Drivers
5 Driving Tips Every Teen Driver Needs to Know (BPT) - Once a newly licensed teen gets behind the wheel for the first time without a parent or guardian, the taste of freedom is exhilarating. But a teenagerâ€™s lack of behind-the-wheel experience puts them at greater risk of getting into an accident. Add factors like passengers, loud music and stress, and the situation can quickly turn dire. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, with one in three
teen deaths caused by vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help teens navigate into this new responsibility safely, there are lots of resources out there to help them. For example, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The UPS Foundation have come together to create the UPS Road Code program, which is available in 57 Boys & Girls Clubs across 46 U.S. cities. This is a free program that educates
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teens on safe driving principles and best practices for road safety. Taught by UPS employees who volunteer their time, the program offers classroom instruction along with practice time behind the wheel of a virtual driving simulator. The UPS instructors share insights they have learned through the company’s in-depth defensive driving training. “The thing that has really hit home for me is the fact that driving a car is a huge responsibility,” said CeCe McNeal, the national teen ambassador, east region, for the UPS Road Code program.
Never Drive While Impaired: Alcohol and other substances can impair your vision and reaction time, which can lead to a greater likelihood of being in a fatal crash. In fact, in 2016 there were 10,497 people in the United States killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes and an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality happens every 50 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Driving under the influence is never worth the risk.
Look and Think Ahead: One key to being a good
The program’s national teen ambassador, west region, Jaylen Vinson added, “Whenever I get into the car, before I turn the key, I remind myself that I’m in control of the car and I’m in charge of the choices I make on the road.”
driver is staying focused on the road and what’s around you, so you can spot the hazards and respond to them immediately. Be aware of others sharing the road with you, including bicyclists and pedestrians, and leave enough space between you and the other cars to allow for reaction time. Scan the road ahead, especially intersections, while also remembering to check those rear and side-view mirrors regularly.
Whether you have a teen in your life who needs some guidance, or you would like some reminders of how to be more mindful while on the road, here are some tips and insights that McNeal and Vinson learned during the course that can help drivers of all ages avoid risky behavior on the road.
“If you don’t handle your car in a safe manner at all times, it can turn into a deadly weapon against others on the road, your passengers and yourself,” McNeal said. “Keeping these tips top of mind before getting behind the wheel can reduce the risks faced on the road and help to make the roads safer for us all.”
Delete Distractions: If your attention is on something other than driving - texting, eating, turning the radio dial, talking to a passenger or on the phone - you’re putting yourself at greater risk of getting into a crash. And with every crash, you also risk the lives of your fellow passengers and everyone else out on the road.
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Mind the Speed: Sometimes we don’t pay attention to the speed limit, which can lead to harmful consequences very fast. Increased speed can result in an expensive traffic ticket, along with raised insurance rates. But, most importantly, speeding reduces your time to react to hazards and increases your likelihood of getting into a dangerous collision.
Plan for the Weather: Get into the habit of checking the weather before you plan your trip. Driving in heavy rain, snow and ice can be stressful and slippery for any driver. So, when the conditions are bad and you have to head out, give yourself extra time. And if you’re still running behind schedule, just remember, it’s always better to be late than end up in a serious crash because you are rushing.
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How to Inspire Your Teen to Expand Their Horizons and Find Their Passion
(BPT) - With mounting pressures and expectations, the high school years can feel overwhelming - for students and parents alike. Teens grapple with questions like: Which colleges should I apply to? What should I choose as a major? What do I really want to do with my life? What if I don’t have a clue? As a parent you naturally want to give advice and steer them in the right direction, but you also know it’s a tricky balance. It’s their life, after all, as they’ll often remind you.
So how can you help? Encourage them to explore different interests, with no strings attached. Look for activities beyond the usual choices. Research extracurricular programs at your school, in your community, even overseas so they can see the breadth of what’s out there. Expose them to a range of possibilities and see what they pick. Does your teen already have a clear focus?
Look for innovative programs that allow them to dig even deeper in real-world settings. Or maybe your son or daughter is shy or stuck in a rut and needs a gentle nudge to try something new? It’s amazing how a change of
scenery can inspire students and tap hidden talents. Over time they’ll gravitate toward one thing or another, and the journey will be rich with self-discovery. From local to global, there are many valuable paths that help spark new interests while building self-knowledge, confidence and 21st century skills along the way. Global clubs and activities spark interest in the world at large. Most high schools offer a range of extracurricular opportunities to get involved in a topic of interest or try out something new, from sports and theater to robotics and debate. Many offer programs with an international theme as well. After-school language clubs provide a chance to practice conversational skills in a relaxed environment while joining in cooking and other cultural activities. And bonding with other language enthusiasts inspires many to want to travel to experience different cultures first-hand! Larger high schools offer more languages, from French, Spanish and German to Mandarin, Arabic and Japanese, while teens with more limited offerings can often find regional programs a bus ride away. Model UN is another valuable program that teaches students about the world around them, and builds Parent Source | Spring 2018 | 10
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confidence as well as leadership and communication skills. A new activity picked up on a whim may turn into a lifetime source of joy or even a career. If options are limited at school, branch out. Urge your teen to get involved in the local community, meet new people, and bond with others who share similar interests. They’ll see what’s out there in the bigger world while demonstrating to colleges and employers that they’re engaged beyond the standard classroom requirements. Service programs help teens gain valuable perspective. When teens offer their time and talent to nonprofits and worthy causes, they gain more than just real-world experience for their college resumes. They gain maturity, perspective, practical skills and a greater appreciation for what they’ve got. Volunteering can be customized to one’s own interests, whether it means walking dogs at an animal shelter or building a website for an environmental group. Adventurous students can take it one step further by participating in service programs abroad. Whether working to raise social awareness, lending a hand with environmental and conservation project, or mentoring underprivileged youth, teens grow exponentially during a summer far away from their usual routine. Study abroad transforms the way a teen looks at fields of study - and life studying abroad is not just for college. More and more high school students are making the leap overseas for summer programs or for a semester or gap year. As many students, parents and guidance counselors
have discovered, this is an opportune time to develop valuable lifelong skills, learn a new language and discover career interests in a way that is not possible in an everyday classroom environment. Perhaps the ultimate opportunity for personal growth, studying abroad also expands communication skills and helps students understand different cultures and ways of living. Not sure study abroad has crossed your teen’s mind? Surf the web together for resources and get on mailing lists for brochures. CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), a nonprofit that operates high school study abroad programs in more than 30 global destinations, is a good place to start. Transported to a world far different from their own, teens find themselves fully immersed in a new topic and a foreign culture. Programs range from three weeks in the summer to a full semester or academic year. Planning ahead is key. By involving a teacher or counselor in the discussion early on, you’ll ensure a smooth transition to and from the study abroad experience. It also gives you more time to plan finances and research scholarships to make the opportunity possible. Do your research sooner rather than later: Organizations like CIEE offer scholarships based on merit and financial considerations, but be sure to check the application deadlines so you don’t miss out. To learn more about CIEE’s Global Navigator High School Study Abroad program and available scholarships, visit ciee.org/globalnavigators.
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5 Ingredients For a Perfect Family Vacation
(BPT) - It’s hard to believe it, but the kids who were labeled “millennials” have all grown up and started their own families. As this next generation enters the realm of parenthood, many will be thinking about what they want to do and where they want to go for their family vacation. Needless to say, for a young family planning a vacation, things will be a little different than when mom and dad traveled. Now it’s all about the kids, and making memories together. For those who are looking to get away with the family this year, here are some essential ingredients for making a memorable vacation.
1. Be on the lookout for “firsts.” Parenting is a series of milestones and firsts: first steps, first words, first day of school. When you and your family step off the plane or out of the car, get ready, because there’s going to be a whole lot of firsts, and it might be a little overwhelming! Travel to a destination like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where from the first step into the ocean to watching dolphins jump through the waves, you can expect some unforgettable moments. 2. Come as you are. When deciding where to go,
pick someplace you can be yourself, where you can relax, experience something new and let the kids be kids. Leave everything else at home and enjoy the easy, laid-back beach-loving lifestyle. South Carolina’s iconic Myrtle Beach boasts over 60 miles of sandy beach, boardwalks, amusement parks and over 1,800 restaurants. With so much to offer, all you need to do is show up!
3. Playing is learning. Parents know that their
kids learn best when they’re at play. Vacations are a fantastic opportunity for learning through play. Minutes away from the ocean at Myrtle Beach is WonderWorks, an amusement park with over 50,000 square feet of entertainment and education, what they call “edu-tainment.” Here kids can learn about natural disasters, space exploration, art, and tire themselves out playing laser tag, tackling an indoor ropes course and much more.
4. Take a day to go explore. Many parents
find that one of the truly rewarding parts of traveling with young kids is that their sense of wonder and discovery is contagious. If you found a beautiful beach-side resort, it can be hard to leave. Take even a half day to explore nearby natural wonders, such as those found at Huntington Beach State Park, and you’ll be rewarded with thousands of secluded acres for you and your family to explore.
5. Enjoy the little things. No matter how well
you plan, it’s impossible to anticipate all of the small, intimate moments that make a vacation so memorable. Whether it’s a perfect sunset, a newly built sand castle or a bucket full of sand dollars, there are hundreds of little details that await, so be ready! You can choose whatever ingredients you want to put into your next family vacation - sunshine, blue sky, an ocean, sand beaches, plenty of diversions. It only takes a few of these to make memories that will last a lifetime.
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5 Tips to Keep Allergy Sufferers from Dreading Spring (BPT) - From flowers poking through the ground to ditching heavy winter parkas, it’s easy to look forward to spring. Unless, of course, you have allergies. Then, the path to warmer weather and additional daylight could be marked with watery eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. Makes it hard to be excited, right?
It doesn’t have to. While spring carries its own concerns for allergy sufferers everywhere, there is relief. Now is the perfect time to set plans in place to help ease your allergy symptoms before they begin.
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“People think they’re doing everything they can to battle spring allergies,” says allergist Bradley Chipps, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But many still find themselves under siege from pollen and other allergens that appear once the weather starts to warm up. What they don’t realize is that by following a few simple rules they can make life a lot more pleasant, and their allergies more bearable.” As you start your spring allergy planning, keep
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these five tips from ACAAI in mind. Use them and your spring will be filled with flowers and breezes, not coughing and sneezes.
1. It may not only be allergies. In some cases the
symptoms you are experiencing may not be caused by allergies alone but by another complication such as asthma. Research shows two-thirds of people with asthma also suffer from allergies, making symptoms worse during the spring season. If your symptoms include a persistent cough or feeling winded quickly, asthma could be the cause of your trouble. If this sounds familiar, consult your allergist. Your allergist can help identify the source of your asthma and help treat your allergies to manage your symptoms.
2. Take a deep dive for spring cleaning. Spring
cleaning is a must for many people, but if you suffer from allergies, it’s even more important. Clearing dust and cobwebs can ease your sneezing, but for better results, roll up your sleeves and give your home a deep scrub. A thorough cleaning can eliminate allergens such as dust mites and mold, and clear the air.
3. Start your relief early on. Don’t wait for your eyes to begin watering before taking your allergy medicine. Start your medications at least two weeks before the season begins, and they will already be in
your system when you really need it.
4. Clean your air effectively. When looking for
support to clean the air in your home, don’t choose an ionic air filter. These filters require more airflow to operate properly than most homes are able to provide. Instead choose a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate. If you have central air, change your filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 to keep your air as clean as possible.
5. Resist the urge to breathe in fresh air. After
months cooped up indoors, you want a fresh breeze, but before you open your windows, beware. Opening windows allows pollen and other debris into your home where they can settle in your carpet or upholstery. As hard as it can be, you’re better off keeping your windows closed during peak allergy season. Use your air conditioning to regulate your home’s temperature instead. For people with allergies, spring’s annual arrival feels like a mixed blessing. By using the tips above, you can ensure that you have everything you need to make spring great. And you’ll do so with less of the coughing and sneezing that can go with it.
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815.981.4990 | R A D i A n t D e R M .C o M Parent Source | Spring 2018 | 15
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LEG UP ON LIFE Donâ€™t let painful varicose veins prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest.
The experts at Gilvydis Vein Clinic offer a variety of innovative leg vein treatment options with minimal downtime and discomfort. With the regionâ€™s highest success rates in the treatment of even the most complex varicose veins, our patients get a leg up on life. Visit our Sycamore location for a free screening.
to schedule your appointment.
Sycamore location | 2127 Midlands Court, Suite 102 | www.GilvydisVein.com 16 | Parent Source | Spring 2018
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